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Couple on the road to financial independence

The Watsons - Nick, 32 and Julie, 29


Research analyst (Nick) and medical clerk (Julie)

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The portfolio

Includes rental properties and stocks such as Enbridge Inc., Telus Corp., Bank of Nova Scotia, McDonald's Corp., Apple Inc. and Colgate Palmolive Co.

The 'investment junkies'

Nick and Julie Watson are committed to building up "multiple streams of income" from rental properties, stocks, bonds and other asserts. The goal is to achieve financial freedom by their late forties, and have something to fall back on in case pensions and Old Age Security aren't there for them in their senior years.

The "self-taught investment junkies" have mapped out their path, right down to the precise amount they need to save each month. They also have taken on part-time work, in addition to their full-time jobs.

"You should take advantage of the extra time and energy you have when you're young by earning additional income," Mr. Watson declares. "For every dollar you don't invest during your twenties, it will take six times as many in your forties to provide you with the same amount when you are in your sixties."

'Multiple streams of income'

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The couple made their first investment in 2003, while students at university. Mr. Watson persuaded his father to provide financing to buy a townhouse after showing him that the carrying costs could be covered by renting out rooms to other students.

In 2008, the Watsons purchased their second property, a single family home with an income suite. It was bargain-priced "because the interior looked like it was from a Dr. Seuss book." They rented out the townhouse, moved into the new home and rented out the suite while commencing improvements.

The couple also owns an array of stock holdings – bought mostly according to "a few simple guidelines." Of note is the purchase of shares in companies that pay decent dividends and provide products that the couple use and see being around for 20 years.

Worst move

Buying J. M. Smucker Co. in 2006, just before a dividend cut triggered a price plunge of 30 per cent in one day.

Best move

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Buying Apple in 2009 at $125 (still holding).


The Watsons write about their journey and offer tips at They say: "Setting goals and creating a realistic timeline of where you need to be financially will help you monitor your progress and provide the incentive to stay on track."

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